Washington Daybook: Conspicuous Gallantry

Photograph by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Barack Obama presents Clinton Romesha, former active duty Army staff sergeant, with the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 11, 2013 in Washington.

President Barack Obama takes a break from preparing for tomorrow’s State of the Union address to award a Medal of Honor to Clinton Romesha, a former Army staff sergeant, for conspicuous gallantry. Romesha was one of 53 troops in an isolated camp in Afghanistan when it was attacked by more than 300 insurgents. Though injured, he helped lead a counter-attack that saved the camp.

When Obama returns to work on his speech, he should focus on the U.S. economy, 35 percent of American voters said in Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 20 percent say the federal deficit is the top priority, with 15 percent citing gun policy and 12 percent listing health care.

Northrop Grumman Corp. CEO Wes Bush will urge the president and Congress to find way to avoid the “meat ax” of sequestration budget cuts at an Aerospace Industries Association news conference. Meanwhile, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen discuss the conditions needed for full employment at a labor event.

And Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl will be among the estimated 118 Catholic cardinals who will help choose the next leader of the Church after Pope Benedict said today he’ll resign Feb. 28, the first papal abdication in almost six centuries.

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